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Social Science & Medicine;119
Since the mid-1990s, public sector health care services in Norway have been restructured, in line with New Public Management ideas. This restructuring has coincided with demographic changes that have led to a more culturally diverse patient population. Both developments have created new challenges for community nurses in managing their work. This qualitative study applies the concept of “emotional labor” to examine nurses' experiences in working with ethnic minority patients in the context of pressures arising from organizational reforms. The analysis sheds light on the nurses' attempts to comply with system-induced efficiency considerations, while catering to the special situation of patients with language barriers and unfamiliar cultural traditions. The article demonstrates how efficiency requirements and time constraints either aggravate the nurses' insecurity in dealing with minority patients or, in some cases, compel them to assume more work responsibilities so as to mitigate the effects of such constraints.
“NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in "Social Science and Medicine". Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Debesay, J., Harsløf, I., Rechel, B., & Vike, H. (2014). Dispensing emotions: Norwegian community nurses' handling of diversity in a changing organizational context. Social Science & Medicine, 119, 74-80.”
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